- Ada, Oklahoma


July 18, 2013

Bill Thrash


Oklahoma City —

In 1971, he moved to WKY-TV (now KFOR) as assistant program manager and later became station manager. 

From local programming such as Dannysday, the OCU Christmas Specials produced with Carveth Osterhaus, Bill Banowsky Visits, OU Football Playback and PM Magazine; he also took on outside projects such as The Diamond Jubilee Show, a celebration of Oklahoma’s 75th anniversary as a state, the syndicated music special Hoyt Axton Live!, and over 50 episodes each of the nationally syndicated country music shows Nashville on the Road and Pop! Goes the Country. 

In 1988 he joined the staff of OETA, the Oklahoma statewide network & PBS affiliate, where his first assignment was to helm the ambitious idea of then-OETA Executive Director and current OETA Foundation President Bob Allen, the five-hour award-winning miniseries Oklahoma Passage. This partnership with OETA and Bob Allen also produced the still-running syndicated series of Lawrence Welk Shows and specials for PBS. Statewide productions included Stateline, Gallery, Oklahoma City Metro, the OETA Movie Club, The Piano Hour, Oklahoma City Weekly, A Conversation With......, Centennial Stories, The Oklahoma Hall of Fame ceremonies and State of Creativity.

Once again he collaborated with Lee Allan Smith on such additional projects as The State Capitol Dome Dedication, The Memorial Concert Centennial Project, The Oklahoma Centennial Parade and the Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular.  

In addition to being the recipient of six Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards, Mr. Thrash was also honored with induction into both the Heartland Emmy Silver and Gold Circles. Other honors include the Public Television Programmers Association Programmer of the Year Award and many Savvy Scheduler awards, The Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma Legacy Award from the Oklahoma Heritage Association, a Governor’s Arts Award, The Lifetime Achievement Award from the OKC American Women in Radio and Television and in 2002, Bill was inducted into the Oklahoma Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Additionally, Bill was recently honored when both East Central University and OETA dedicated their television studios in his name.  

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